News

Councils, unis on carbon tax list

SEVERAL councils and one university are among a list of 249 entities forced to pay the carbon tax from July 1.

Of the seven councils to make the list, four were in Queensland - Brisbane City, Maranoa, Gladstone and Western Downs.

Councils in Wagga Wagga and Shellharbour (NSW) and Mindarie (WA) also made the list, released by the Clean Energy Regulator on Friday.

La Trobe University, in Victoria, was the only learning institution to make the list.

The list is dominated by energy intensive industries including coal mining, power producers, CSG, aluminium refineries and industrial chemical producers.

>>See the full list here

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the 249 groups on the list would "cover about 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions that will be covered by the carbon price mechanism".

He said the regulator had been "working through issues" with councils.

Those organisations listed will be obliged under the carbon price mechanism to purchase permits for their greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of $23 a tonne.

"I emphasise that this is the initial list as we move towards July the first," Mr Combet said.

"This is a list that's based upon the reporting of greenhouse emissions over the last four or five years by companies.

"Where it is clear and where there's been a process with those companies of acknowledging they emit in excess of 25,000 tonnes, which is the threshold that attaches to liability under the scheme."

Mr Combet said the regulator, which was established to oversee the carbon price mechanism, had been working with a "further group of entities that would be potentially liable under the scheme"

"(The regulator) is in the process of resolving matters such as, which particular entity in a corporate structure would have the liability or whether or not an obligation under the scheme would pass to another entity," he said.

"The regulator is also in touch with local governments ... in relation to those that operate landfill facilities and is working through issues with them.

"We would anticipate that by July 1 with the commencement of the scheme, of course, the vast majority of the entities will be identified and that will certainly cover the vast majority of emissions, in excess of 95% of the emissions."

Mr Combet said he was "quite confident" the final number of companies on the list would come in under the 500 initially flagged by the Federal Government.

"Well it's ultimately up to the regulator," he said.

"We've already always said that it'll be about 500 or under 500. I'm quite confident it's going to be under 500.

"But there are some entities that haven't been reporting under the National Greenhouse Energy Reporting system that's been in place since 2007 - (which) was brought in by the Howard government - and they are mainly landfill facilities and the regulator needs to go through a proper process with them to establish whether they emit methane emissions in excess of the threshold. And they're well advanced in that right now."

Mr Combet said the remaining liable organisations would be identified in the coming weeks.

Topics:  carbon tax, greg combet, local government


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